Mission and Purpose of the Foundation
To establish the means by which to rekindle and enliven the hope and opportunities which Catholic Schools can offer to black children.
The foundation is the fitting legacy of Sister Thea Bowman, the black woman Religious who inspired Catholics and non-Catholics alike with her urgent and uplifting call for better education for black children.
The concern of the Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation is for black children who have been conditioned by poverty and oppression which, according to social scientists, contribute not only to death of the body, but also to death of the spirit.
The educational system has failed the child of poverty. In 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education theoretically broke down the walls which withheld from black children the opportunity for equal education.
But far too many black children are still excluded from educational opportunity today, more than half a century later. Too often, they are judged inferior in their ability to learn and to achieve. Too often, their potential is stifled by under-financed, under-resourced, inadequately staffed schools, and by politics and policies of discrimination.
Offering a Fresh Start and a New Beginning
As children of God, as our children, each child must be provided with a quality value-based education. The Catholic schools of this country, at this time in our history, can and must provide education to economically disadvantaged children of the black community.
It is, therefore, the mission and purpose of the Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation to establish the means by which to rekindle and enliven the hope and the opportunities that Catholic schools can offer to black children.
By helping these young people who are filled with hopes and ambitions for an exciting and productive future, we continue to live the legacy of Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA.
Seventy-five African American students assisted by the Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation have already completed degrees at Catholic colleges and universities. Students enroll at such schools as Boston College; St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT; Xavier University in New Orleans, LA; Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA; University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN; University of Dayton in Dayton, OH; Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ; and St. Francis University in Loretto, PA.
Currently, the Foundation supports five African-American single mothers with their children at the College of St. Mary in Omaha, NB. The students are from Saginaw, MI, Memphis, TN, Baltimore, MD, Kansas City, KS, and Tucson, AZ.
The Sister Thea Bowman Black Catholic Educational Foundation endeavors to assist students throughout the United States. Those aided by the work of the foundation have hailed from such areas as Baltimore; Saginaw, Detroit, and Flint, MI; Newark, NJ; Daly City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, CA; Indianola, Jackson, Richland, Canton, Greenville, and Metcalfe, MS; Brooklyn and New York, NY; New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; Montgomery, AL; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, IL; and Ft. Myers, FL.
"Help us to education. We need education. The way out of poverty is through education."
Sister Thea Bowman, "To Be Black and Catholic," Origins, Address to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, June 1989